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November 2007
My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Mon, 15 April 2019 14:49
Salut copains,

J'ecrire en anglais (et un petit peu Français en Neerlandais) parce que ca vient de mon coeur et c'est plus simple de m'expresse en anglais.

Si vous ne comprenez pas n'hésite pas de demander a quelqu'un pour traduire.
(pas moi! Smile )

This weekend Jürgen (Cpl_Uhl) and myself (Jeronimon) visited the French Open.

If you will, and have some patience to read, I will take you on my personal journey through these surreal two days.

Day 1
After arriving at le Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer 
and meeting and greeting everybody in this fine community, Jaques/jdrommel introduced the scenarios and Antoine introduced some rules we could start. The theme this year was Russians.

My first scenario was Tolvajarvi, a not unknown name for me as we, the Memoir’44 Brigade Nederland, did our take on Tolvajarvi in the 2016 Dutch Open. I was curious how Jdrommel translated this into M44.

My opponent, Corsair91, a fine player not unknown to me so I expected a good fight. The first game was good as we fought tentatively at first but the he went for the hotel with his skiers and the battle got ugly in the middle, but my Russians defended well and were victorious. 6-4 a fine score.
The retour was less balanced as the dice seemed to give me more hits and my opponent more flags. Noteworthy was he chased a lonely skier al the way to my baseline with a Behind Enemy lines and got his only medal with that action. I of course brought down terrible revenge on that unit (and several others) and liberated the Hotel to take the objective. 6-1 and an objective

For those not familiar with the French Open, they score as follows:
You get one point for every medal
And you get one point extra if you have an objective (exited units are not objectives and the position control rule from CB2 applies)
Also if you win the match on medalscore (counted without any bonuses) you get 2 points extra
Penalty: if a match is not finished in time (45 min per side) there is a penalty for the “attacking” side of minus 1 point.

So for my first match I scored all the points I could get 12 medals 1 objective and 2 for the win. A nice 15 points to have. Carton plein comme disent les français.

Most of you will be acquainted with the Barbarossa campaign and as you would expect there were a lot of tanks on the board. Five Russians special forces armor units (4 figures) and five regular German ones. In the middle of the board Raseiniai church was an objective.

My opponent, Kellogs_10, I had played in this same Museum three years before and we had a great and tough match and I expected nothing less here.
My Russians and his German fought a fierce tank battle where my forces were more successful than his (dice were good to me Smile ) and I was glad my units consisted of four tanks instead of 3 because I had a few 1 figure armor units after that clash. My infantries then advanced on the church for my sixth and last medal (or so I thought). Killed the unit defending it, invoked the position control rule to take the objective. Whilst filling out the form with the score the Referee informed us that the scenario was to 7 medals not six. Oh no! But fortunately Kellogs_10 reminded me that I had killed the unit on the church before taking the objective so I had seven medals, pfieieiw.
Let that be a lesson boys and girls always read the rules carefully before playing! Smile
The score? 7-2 with an objective.
Retour: A fiercer tank battle ensued that was more equal, Kellogs_10 also made good use of the four figure armor units, but my Germans defended well and were victorious with a 7-5 score. 14 medals 1 objective 2 bonus point 17 points
Another “carton plein” which was nice but a little voice in the back of my head was starting to mumble.

French Open for beginners
For those not familiar with the French Open. In this tournament when you arrive you get two very important pieces of paper:
1. your schedule for the weekend. You can see right at the start who your opponents will be for the whole weekend. This is very handy because you can look them in the eye every time you see them. Right DDB73? Wink
2. The description of all the scenarios (Like on the website) this allows you to prepare for the matches and discuss strategy and tactics with your fellow players

Into the snow again. Italian Alpine corps trying to break through and escape through and around the village of Varvarovka. A frozen river to cross for the Italians (or bypass it on their left flank) and exit along all of the Russian baseline. And no designer dares to put less troops on the map than jdrommel. Th Otalians start out with a normal 12 (10 special force infantries and tow Artilleries. The Russians however need to make due with 7 units, 2 armor and 5 infantries. No objectives in this scenario.

Crusader, who visits many many tournaments, he has not missed a Dutch Open yet and although I have visited more than a few of the same tournaments we had never played against each other before on the board or online. So a real pleasure to at last encounter him in a match.

He tried coming over my right (his left flank) but my Russians stopped him at some cost but not to dear, I was moving more troops towards that side also. He then had to switch to his other flank because of having cards there (he later told me) and my troops had to double back on themselves. Dice were good to me as I did finish of his units, but mine were reduced to 1 fig and could run away (sometimes helped by flags), be helped by the doctor and in some instances fire back at those infernal Italians. The Russians held their ground, no Italians escaped and I won 6-3.
Retour: A whole different story. Four of my Italian infantries moved up their left flank. Crusader started an attack in the middle. I mostly ignored that, whenever possible, and kept going at it on my left. Resulting in me overrunning armor and 1 infantry unit and escaping 4 Italian units for a 6-2 win. Dice again firmly on my side. Smile
12 medals 2 bonus points. Carton plein.

The Curse
This marked the end of the first day and now I was getting nervous. This cannot last
And there is the curse! What curse you say? This one: The French Open has never been won by the player who leads after the first day. Never you say? Well there has been one brave player Grozours/Arnaud did it in 2013. I was lucky enough to play him in 2014 where he put his trophy on the table at the beginning of the match.
After the first game, which I won rather smugly, he asked me if I had or respect for his prize. I replied I respect the prize but not the way you played (I smiled while I said it Smile )
I have since then become copains with this man, and one of my great games in this community was in Orleans against Franck (from Days of Wonder) where Grozours was the referee, the three of us had so much fun that match. I smile each time I think of it.
So I knew I had some big shoes to fill!

If you visit a two day tournament there will usually be an choice to opt in for a meal. I have an advise: DO THIS. It is a great opportunity to meat new people who have the same hobby (or should we say passion) as you and the male sare always very agreeable/gezellig/gemütlich/cosy/etc. Oh, and if the Dutch are speaking too much in Dutch just tell them, they will not shut up but just bother you in another language. Wink

Day 2
I confess that I did look at my opponents for the day and had two that are not very accomplished players. So that gave me hope to continue my lucky streak. Remember to never underestimate your opponent! I also had to face one of the Belgian de Buck brothers. VCX1302 beat me thoroughly in the final of the online league, but I was going to face DDB73, a good friend but a tiger on the board. We have played each other on play evenings and days, online and also in the French Open before this day. A good friend and you would do well to visit the Melle tournament he organises with the M44 Oost Vlanderen. (the 4th of may this year Smile )

Vallée de la Mort (Valley of Death)
Kapisova, Slovak border, an objective on the German baseline with antitank boys (late war) in sand bags. The kind jdrommel puts in there to seduce you to go for it and die trying.

My opponent, Lokifire, I had not met before this weekend but he and his father and Cpl_Uhl had a very pleasant conversation before the day started. (Remember that these tournaments are great for meeting new and exciting people.

Discussing the scenario the night before with my consigliere Cpl_Uhl. He said: that is the objective nobody will get except for Jeronimon. So when I was 4-2 ahead (greatly helped by dice even better than the day before, two times I needed only three dice for a full armor unit) I could have won by destroying units but started to build my hand to go for the objective. I did kill a unit going for it, but then had to be careful I needed that objective. In the end I succeeded and whilst invoking the position control rule (correctly this time Smile ) I got the 6th medal for a 6-2 win. Lokifire is a young new player with great potential. But he also needs to learn some things about Memoir’44. We did discuss some actions of his (after he did them Smile ) and how he might improve.
Retour: this where it all could have gone haywire, I confess. It all started as expected trading shots over the distance him weakening my centre armor unit. But When he reduced it to 1 fig I had only one card to move it, an Armor Assault. I then went total “Johnny” even warned Lokifire tha this was a bad example and moved my three tank units forward on every flank. Thus getting 4 dice twice on 3 figure armor units without retreat and going for the arty in the middle. This was a stupid move and I never ever ever should have done that. The close assault Lokifire played destroyed two of the units and reduced anther to 1 fig. That one fig got the remains of the unit it attacked but basically it traded 3 medals for 1. My tip: if “Johnny” crops up in your head in a tournament, stop what you are doing and wait until he has gone away.
Fortunately for me Lokifire decided to concentrate all his efforts on destroying my artillery, which withstood the attacks gracefully and managed to turn being behind 2-4 into a 6-4 win. As stated never underestimate your opponent. After the game we did discuss his strategy and I fear next time we meet he will be a much better player. Hope to see you soon on a battlefield. Esteemed opponent!
12 medals 1 objective 2 bonuspoints
And as they say in france: carton plein.
This was getting to be ridiculous. But in a good way.

Rounds of play
Also there was a peak at the standings and one player was one point ahead of me. So he must have managed to get an objective extra in a scenario I had not played yet. Let me explain. There are six different scenarios set up in groups. So 7 tables with sc1 7 with sc2 etc etc. All 14 players of your Poule start with a scenario on day 1 and the you move up 1 untill you reach sc6 after which you switch to sc1. My poule (poule 2) started with sc2 and then 3 4 5 6 and 1 as the last. So in the different scenarios there are different numbers of objectives 0,1,2. Thus another player, EMI44, could have 1 point more than me even though I played carton plein.

Port Toro
Russians try to land under the protective fire of two destroyers. Two objectives: one on an airfield in the Russians left flank another on the Japanese baseline in a village hex surrounded by other village hexes. Japanese: 10 units 1 arty 7 inf 1 machine gun 1mortar Russians 2 destroyers 8 inf 4 of which special.
Scenario analysis: move your 3 special Russian inf troops up the left flank destroy the Japanese machine gun unit in the bunker there and take the airfield for the objective. If the Japanese send troops there fend them of with the help of one of the destroyers.
If you get really lucky and have behind Enemy Lines you might get the baseline objective.

The aforementioned DDB73 my opponent.
I started with the Japanese and DDB73 attaked as described in the analysis. But I ambushed his first unit (three hits and one flag) and killed it the turn after. The second attack saw my unit reduced to 2 fig and the destroyer was zeroed in. Foolishly I left the bunker ti get rid of the crosshairs not realising the Russians could then enter the bunker and shoot at me from behind the thick walls. The amount of dice did not change for me, but he got protection. He came up that flank and through the middle and I sacrificed a unit to get another medal. This only worked because he attacked it and left 1 figure standing that could then take out a 1 fig unit of his.
We were trading medals pretty closely the whole match and I had to gamble on getting a middle card going for a unit there, I got it in time and managed a 6-5 win. Had I not killed that unit DDB73 would have gone for the last objective with the Behind Enemy Lines he got. Pfiew.
Retour: Went up the left beach killed some Japanese Medics revived some zombie soldiers I killed those with trouble, both of us were not throwing the dice we wanted but succeeded in the end. Had two 2 fig units there but had cover from te destroyer and could go for the objective at any time (or so I thought). Started an offensive in the middle. DDB73 meanwhile went to my left flank and succeeded in killing my two infantries thus taking away my chance at that objective. Not good. And the guy that did it was fired upon by my destroyer but refused to die. In the end he did and I managed to push through the middle. DDB73 had one shot with three dice for a flag so I could not reach the objective there, but lucky for me that did not happen. (Dice again going my way as was the case more and more this tournament) I took the objective for the win.
12 medals 1 objective and 2 bonuspoints, but I missed one of the objectives so my carton was not plein this time.

Nut in the intermezzo EMI44 told me he had lost one game so I was still safe.

Carton Plein
As best as I can find it has to do with the shooting range and means you have very successfully succeeded at your task. Look it up! Wink

We played a scenario in the tournament of Melle also that was around Wytyczno but again Jdrommel had a totally different take on it. Which is also nice to see how the same historical background can give different scenarios because of the moment n the battle we start with or how much it is zoomed in or out.
Both sides have one artillery the Russians have tanks and the Polish have Cavalry.
Wytyczno is a serpent of 5 village hexes in the middle of the scenario and a majority objective.

My opponent Guerney I had never met before and he is the most gracious loser I know. The gods did not pity this man and gave him a hard road to travel. Allow me to explain.

In turn one he advanced his artillery one hex to put it on the red line. My artillery fired 1 die and it was a grenade. That made me happy. He played his turn shot at my artillery, and in my next turn I shot another die at the artillery and again a grenade. My first medal after having thrown only 2 dice was the artillery of my opponent.
His suffering did not end there, after some manoeuvring with an infantry assault an all in the middle and a firefight/fussilade I wrecked havoc on his troops and firmly had Wytyczno in my grasp. In the end I chased down a single figure hiding in the woods for the last medal with two of my cavalry for an 6-1 win.
Retour: This was even worse. I had both all center cards both armor assaults both infantry assaults. Even played an infantry assault directly from my hand until Gurney alerted me and said you have to play the card under the commissar, which was the other infantry assault (hence my mistake). He could just sit there and do virtually nothing. But throughout this ordeal he kept smiling and playing and doing the best he could under difficult circumstances. J’espère que le petit cadeau la douleur quelque peu soulagée.
As the French say: rien à faire pour il
And as they also say carton plein!
12 medals 2 objectives and 2 bonus points.

Have you lost count?
I did not, I got an incredible 92 out of a possible 93 points.
Yes I did some smart thing, but I also did some stupid things.
I had some (very few) bad dice, I had some good dice and I had an enormous amount of fabulous incredible dice.
I had some bad cards, but played those while I could to get some good cards, trying to do good things with the bad cards. I did good things with the good cards.
I planned strategies I played strategically I made new strategies when needed.
The most important thing I did however was: have fun!

At the end of the weekend I was victorious and I won the French Open 2019.
This gives me great pleasure and I might even wipe away a tear.
But at the end of the week the muscles in my cheeks will hurt because I cannot wipe this smile of my face.

Thank yous
Corsair91, Kellogs_10, Crusader, Lokifire et Geurney
Merci beaucoup pour jouer, ca m’a fait plaisir dans une atmosphère agréables et conviviale. Je suis désolé (un petit peu) que il y a été nécessaire de gagner contre vous, mais c’est la guerre.
Diederik, het was weer een feestje, misschien is de volgende voor jou, maar weet dat ik me tot het uiterste zal verzetten.

As always I would like to thank the organisation for going through the trouble of organising these events. It is not an easy thing to get everything together for a tournament and there is a lot of work that you do not see and is done behind the curtains by volunteers. From the bottom of my heart I thank those people for doing this and giving back to the community.

Days of Wonder
The people of Days of Wonder are supporting the game and tournament organisations with a passion. Most of this you do not see, but know that the people who organise tournaments get a lot of support, plastic, cards, dice, prizes, advice, prototype on loan, etc. Merci Beaucoup, many many tanks (see what I did there? Wink )

Richard Borg
We were fortunate enough to meet Richard last year at the French Open and cannot say this enough: meet your heroes for they are all wonderful. Thank you for your games and vision. Not a month goes by in my house without playing one or other Richard Borg game.

All the players that form this beautiful community that has a heart and soul and that com to play. If you make a scenario they will come!
Thank you for showing up, being there and making this so great every time we meet.

I would like to thank the Memoir’44 Brigade Nederland, Anton, Bart, Erik, Remco, Wim and all the other dutch players for getting on my case, irritating me and driving me to frustration so I can better myself at Memoir (and other stuff). Without you this would no have been possible.

Lastly I would thank Cpl_Uhl,
Nobody gets on my case/nerves like he does.
Maatje, we zijn dit avontuur begonnen in 2016, ik ben blij dat het dit jaar paste voor je om te komen en weet dat het je goed gedaan heeft. Je ligt een german open voor, maar daargaan we nog eens wat aan doen!

There is no curse! muahahahahah Very Happy

Senior Member

Nachrichten: 701
April 2011
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Mon, 15 April 2019 16:27
And by the way, you just beat the longest DOW post world record ! Rolling Eyes
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 137
August 2007
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Mon, 15 April 2019 20:00
What a great review !!! BRAVO
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 246
June 2006
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Tue, 16 April 2019 00:17
Even after having heard this story being told multiple times, I could not resist reading the whole story once more. Shocked

Jeroen, I'm really happy for you! You finally succeeded in winning one of the biggest championships there is. (In fact, I'm still a bit surprised a player of your quality hasn't won more tournaments! Oooh ... the sweet taste of victory in the League comes to mind once again Very Happy Twisted Evil Very Happy )
Senior Member
Brigadier General

Nachrichten: 684
May 2003
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Tue, 16 April 2019 18:00
Jeroen / Jeronimon,

Well done and congrats on a fine win at FO 2019 and Dutch Dominance continues...Cpl_Uhl and now yourself.

Excellent use of invoking the 3V rule while visiting a foreign country and thus ensuring your 4th V, Victory!!

Gonzalan / Tony
Senior Member
FFM44 Bureau

Nachrichten: 1300
April 2006
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Tue, 16 April 2019 20:01
Cher Jeronimon,

Comme je suis certain que les excellents traducteurs vont donner une version bien plus parfaite de ce que je peux écrire en français que si je me mettais à écrire dans la langue de Shakespeare, je vais persévérer dans ma langue romane natale.

Oui, tu as eu de la chance, c'est clair, tu nous l'expliques. Mais nul ne peut gagner qu'avec la chance. Il faut aussi maîtriser parfaitement les règles et leur usage au travers de la manipulation des unités sur la carte.
Mais il faut aussi, et je pense surtout, utiliser au mieux ces cartes qui peuvent, bien utilisées, mener à la victoire.

Merci pour ta présence. J'étais heureux aussi de voir Cpl_Uhl (bien que je ne sache pas bien comment prononcer ce pseudo Confused ). Vous êtes un tandem redoutable et très sympathique.
Bravo pour ton geste plein de gentillesse : offrir le "New Flight Plan" à Guerney est un geste admirable.

C'est un long périple que tu nous as raconté, dans un style très personnel mais très agréable et amusant. Bravo !

Pour préciser l'expression "Faire un carton plein", cela vient bien du tir au fusil sur des cibles en carton. Mettre toutes ses balles dans la cible, c'est ça, faire un carton plein !
Autrement dit, c'est réussir de façon éclatante, ce que tu as fait sans nul doute...

A très bientôt, donc. Et sûrement un jour aux Pays-Bas. En tous cas je l'espère.

Allez, il ne te reste plus qu'à gagner les Opens de France 2020 et 2021 et le Trophée DUKIK est à toi ! Very Happy

Veel succes met je volgende toernooien!
Rolling Eyes Confused Laughing
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 28
May 2010
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Fri, 19 April 2019 18:30
Thanks for that. It is very interesting and your happiness and modesty is refreshing.
Hope to play with you one day and have a better chance than Guerney (which never stop smiling for a long time).
Senior Member
Lieutenant Colonel

Nachrichten: 814
May 2008
Re:My French Open 2019: Veni vidi vici ;) Wed, 24 April 2019 19:12
Great review and a "parcour parfait" as the French say.
Weird how you can make mistakes and get away with murder, but for sure some good moves and smart thinking went also in that victory.

A les Francais merci pour organizer et a 2020!

Vorheriges Thema:11ème Open de France de Mémoire 44 : les inscriptions sont ouvertes !
Nächstes Thema:04/05/2019 - Tournoi de Melle (Gand) - Belgique
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